Thursday, August 29, 2013

You're Always Thinking

My children had the greatest conversation at dinner yesterday. They were discussing the fact that you're always thinking; even when you sleep. They argue that if you're not thinking, you're dead. I think they must be getting thinking confused with breathing, but I loved their thoughtful conversation nonetheless.

I was talking to a coworker the other day about the fact that my own children love reading. They're in 3rd grade this year and they think homework is fun too.  Where is the breakdown in that thinking? As a middle school teacher of 13 years, I don't see a lot of teens who love to read and find homework enjoyable.  There must come a time in a child's life when something changes that way of thinking. And I'm anxious to know what that life changing event is. But I'm not too anxious as that would mean my own children no longer have the passion for learning that they do at this time.

I noticed in the copy room at my school the other day that as an introduction to the school year activity, a teacher had run off worksheets for the students to create their own record. Really? My guess is that they don't even know what a record is.  Not to be critical, but the original looked like it had come from a ditto machine and the assignment was ancient; prehistoric to today's middle-schooler. So I would gather that they wouldn't dive into this assignment, feel eager to complete it, or very comfortable in the environment in which it was presented.  Maybe it's at that point that children no longer feel eager to learn.

Just some jumbled thoughts that I've been thinking and wanting to write about.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Family Rules

I love my family; obviously more that I love my sanity.

My 10 year old nephew is visiting for the next couple weeks (sans parents).  I love him; he's a doll, and he's sooo my side of the family! Add him to the three 8 years old I already have and insanity ensues.  You see, my nephew is an only child~

My kids have shared everything since conception. They know the art of sharing. They know to enjoy what they have and what they are doing at any said time. They are not picky eaters.  We have a sign in our house that says, "Family Rules". And number 1 is share. If you're an only child sharing is a learned trait, not innate. And though my nephew is capable of sharing, every so often that only child syndrome comes out and he does not want the others touching his stuff. I respect that to an extent, but it's frustrating as I'm also dealing with a picky eater and a child who wants what he wants when he wants it. I'm not saying my children are perfect. There's always room to grow. But the next couple weeks are going to test my patience for sure; and my nephew is going to test our family rules.

But at the end of the day, I love my family, the insanity and all~

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

All things thunder related.

It's thundering.  And usually I don't like thunder.  But tonight, I'm in a thundering kind of mood so go ahead God, and bowl away!

I felt like working out tonight. I have a lot of pent up frustration.  But the rec center was closed when I got there at 9:00 so I walked the outside path. Only it wasn't a path just for the rec and I ended up exploring a nice neighborhood that I never knew exsisted.  It was very relaxing. And then the thunder started and I really enjoyed walking in the calm before the storm.

I'm drinking coffee as I write this at 10:18 pm.  I should be getting ready for bed, but instead I'm enjoying a cup o' joe.  The thunderstrom will no doubt keep me up anyways so I'm OK with being awake a while longer.  Plus, the idea of everyone be tucked into bed and me enjoying some alone time on the couch sounds wonderful!! So I'll be glad to be kept awake... by the thunder and the caffeine!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ahhh... it's summer

It's summer here in NE Ohio, though it feels like the spring we didn't get.  I took my kids to the pool today for what was supposed to be a joyous swimming occasion.  However, after enduring swim lessons and staying for only 2 sessions, we headed back home.  It was chilly!! And cloudy!! And that's no good for my suntan, eh, I mean my kids swimming experience.  ;)

However, the day was not a bust. I ended up with an additional 3 kids in my home for a grand total of 6 children ages 8 and under.  And I don't mind it one bit! I couldn't give them the great summer's day at the pool that we all wanted, but I could allow them to bring their pool friends home so they could still have fun. 

I LOVE summer!! I love the last minute playdates that I'm able to provide since I'm home for these 9 weeks.  I LOVE being here when they wake up and I LOVE our relaxing mornings.  I LOVE making lunch for my kids and as a bonus, eating with them.  I LOVE cooking dinner; not a rushed dinner(see previous post bag o'dinner) or a crock pot meal, but a fresh from the oven/off the grill dinner. I just LOVE summer!

So for today, even though the sun isn't shining and it's not 98 degrees, I will enjoy this beautiful summer day... beautiful b/c I'm home with my family and there's nowhere I'd rather be right now.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Life Lessons Never Anticipated

I know there's a book about life lessons, it might even be titled that, but I learned a valuable lesson recently; one that you would never find in a book.  We need to teach our children not to pick up dirty undergarmets when they see them lying on the sidewalk. 

Yesterday, while cleaning out my son's bookbag after school, I came upon a sock.  It was a large sock, a man-size black, a turned inside out, dirty sock. My son "found" it, so he put it in his bookbag. Who would have ever thought that I would have to teach my childen that was something we just don't do.  "It's very dirty", I said, "We don't know where that's been," I reitterated.  Then, I LAUGHED! I told my husband I never could have dreamed that when I was teahing my children not to touch a hot stove, or to look both ways before crossing a street, that I would also have to teach them to leave dirty socks on the ground. It's just one of those things. 

This lesson is still making me laugh today so I had to write about it.  My boys have brought home broken pencils, scraps of paper, rocks, all kinds of treasures.  But the sock was the icing on the cake! Having "teachable moments" like the one yesterday which evolved from the sock is one of the millions of reasons I love being a mom.  My kids make me laugh daily!! I love the life lessons they teach me!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bag 'O Dinner

I enjoy cooking! It's relaxing to me to chop, mix, stir, pound, sift, heat, repeat.

Tonight's dinner was different. I cooked it all in plastic bags. (Is that healthy?) The pork chops were fresh, the broccoli was fresh; I just took the easy way out of cooking them.

I bought a seasoning mix for the pork chops.  Something like bag 'n bake.  I steamed the broccoli in another bag.  It struck me as a very strange thing to cook my meal in plastic bags: one went into the oven the other into the microwave. 

All I could think was, "My mom and Nana would not be happy to see me cooking this way."

But it was delicious!! I don't plan to make this something I do often.  But the kids and my husband devoured it all.  So maybe there's something to be said for the plastic bag o' dinner business?

On a side note:  The salad was filled with fresh vegetables and the mashed potatos were 100% homemade.   

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Teacher Strike

My alma mater is a district on strike right now.

I'm torn about how I feel.  On the one hand, I support the teachers who are defending what we deserve.  On the other hand, how could teachers walk out on their students, leaving the schools in chaos.  The news is reporting that there are 140 substitute teachers replacing the 380+ who are striking.

On day 2 of the strike, in the district which I earned my diploma from, the district in which I currently reside, and send 3 kids to school in, made local breaking news.  Our superintendent, just today, signed an $83,000 signing bonus.  This on the heals of yet another levy being placed on the May ballot.  The last 5 levies have failed. What today's news shows our already non-supporters is this: Why should my tax dollars pay your teacher's salaries when our superintendent just received the equivalent of 2 teacher's salaries in return for his signature.

I'm just torn tonight.  The district I work in seems to be doing OK, but I never in a million years thought I would be so close to these other events.  My thoughts are jumbled tonight. I certainly did not get into education for this.

I hope tomorrow brings better news and a more positive outlook.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Outside My Comfort Zone

Today's slice is a link to the Ohio Middle Level Association newsletter.  In the winter edition I had an article published; my first ever published writing.  I began the article in an unfinished slice last March during this challenge. I never finished it on here, but I continued writing and sent it in to OMLA this past fall.  It was accepted and published and I'm quite proud of it.  So I thought I'd share.  Just click the link and the title of my article is "Outside My Comfort Zone". It gives a pretty decent description of who I am as an educator. Enjoy! :-)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Updating Students

My husband just made a comment that inspired this morning's slice. 

He works in marketing for a local TV station.  They change software often; he just told me that they update and have to learn new software every 3 years or so.  He's in that transition right now and last time around, 3 years ago, I got to spend a long weekend with him in NYC while he was training. 

What does this have to do with me?  I feel like every year teachers are learning new acronyms for intervention with students, new curriculum, testing expectation, administrative expectations, new political changes, and the list goes on! Every year!! I am flexible, I can bend and adapt like the best of them.  But why is it that big businesses get three years to master their craft and of top of that they get training?  While educators, just as they're mastering their craft, are expected to change yet again. We're lucky to get a half day of PD (training) and then we're set to figure it out, differentiate, and leave no child behind. 

I think I'd like to update my students less often, so that they get a chance to master and perform what I'm asking them too.  And on top of that, I'd like to get some training in NYC.  :-)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's been a year.

I created my blog in February of last year and began blogging as part of the Slice of Life challenge.  Well that wasn't the only challenge I took on last year; I also had a mjor job change, some remodeling on my house, and of course every day life can be a challenge.  So you may notice that I didn't blog nearly as much as I wanted to, let alone every day for a month.  This year I want to be better about it!

I have ideas displayed in a beautiful frame in my home office. I'm hoping to use that as inspiration throughout the month.  Last year, I definitley enjoyed the release of blogging, and most defintiely the feedback so that's another inspiration to get me going on this year's SOLC.  Who doesn't want to do what feels good?!

Last year I began a post that I never posted, but ended up submitting instead to the OMLA journal (Ohio Middle Level Association).  It was published in their winter edition!! If it wasn't for this challenge, I never would have started that article.  Now I'm "published" so to speak.

So this year, I challenge myself to complete the SOLC.  Good luck, me!